Amid clamour for cash, city shopkeepers willingly accept old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, but not without extra tax or commission. Entry of Rs 500 notes has, meanwhile, sent excitement levels soaring among Bengalureans
BENGALURU: The long wait for the new Rs 500 notes has finally ended for Bengalureans. Notes have arrived in the city and will be available in all the major cities of the state by the end of this week. However, the new currency notes will first be distributed in urban areas. There are concerns that cash crunch in rural pockets might be compounded if the new denominations are not widely available soon.
M Mohan Reddy, convener of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), told Express that the new Rs 500 notes are being dispensed in ATMs around the city since Monday morning. “There are also reports of the new currency notes being airlifted or transported by other means. The cash will be supplied across the country by Wednesday or Thursday,” he said.
The new Rs 500 notes will be loaded in ATMs as soon as possible. Recalibration of ATMs is also proceeding at a brisk pace in all parts of the state, Reddy added. SLBC sources said that the new Rs 500 notes will reach different ATMS of the state capital within a fortnight.
More cash flow in rural areas
As problems have been more severe in rural areas due to the lack of adequate banking facilities, ‘bank mitras’ have been empowered, Reddy said. Bank mitras are banking representatives who withdraw money from the banks and distribute it to people in rural areas. So far, the bank mitras could withdraw Rs 50,000 per day from a bank and distribute it in villages deputed to him. The withdrawal limit for the bank mitras has now been increased to Rs 1.5 lakh. The move was to ensure adequate cash flow in rural pockets, Reddy said.
Not enough new notes
According to a manager of a leading bank, who did not wish to be identified, there is insufficient amount of smaller denomination notes in circulation and this has hampered the economic activity as people do not have cash to purchase things. “We are hoping that new notes will be circulated soon. Banks have been managing with all the resources they have had these days,” he said.
The length of queues has reduced slightly though, he added.